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Caribbean celebrates record-breaking 30 million visitors in 2017

In 2017, the Caribbean celebrated record-breaking visitor arrivals with more than 30 million tourists travelling to and staying in the region. According to the acting director of research with the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, Ryan Skeete, the region also reached $37 billion in visitor spending, despite the series of hurricanes and storms in September.

Caribbean celebrates record-breaking 30 million visitors in 2017

The Caribbean is celebrating another milestone after recording more than 30 million tourists in 2017. The figures broke records despite a series of hurricanes and storms hitting the region in September.

The Caribbean region also recorded $37 billion in tourist spending, according to the acting director of research with the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, Ryan Skeete. The recent statistics revealed an overall 1.7 per cent increase in visitors last year, with a total of 30.1 million visits. This was the eighth consecutive year the region recorded growth in international visitors.

Ryan Skeete, explained:

“Stayover arrivals were on track for a strong performance during the first-half of 2017, growing by an estimated 4.8 per cent.

“However, there was a major slowdown in the second half performance due to the impact of the September hurricanes as tourist visits declined by 1.7 per cent.”

Many countries in the Caribbean recorded double-digit growth in 2017. These included St Lucia with an 11 per cent increase in tourists, Belize with a 10 per cent rise, and Bermuda with a 10.3 per cent increase in arrivals. However, the hurricane-hit countries like Puerto Rico and Antigua recorded a decline in overall visitor numbers.

The major tourist source market for the Caribbean continues to be the United States with a growth of 0.5 per cent last year and 14.9 million travellers visiting the region. Visitors from Europe totalled 5.8 million and improved by 6.2 percent, which was the strongest growth among the main markets. The number of Canadian visitors in 2017 increased by 4.3 percent compared to a decline of 3.1 per cent in 2016.

The Caribbean is one of the leading tourist destinations in the world. Home to island nations that boast tropical landscapes made up of white sand, palm-fringed beaches, turquoise crystal-clear sea, and lush jungles, the region is a hotspot for family breaks, romance and active holidays.

Some of the region’s most popular islands include Jamaica, St Lucia, the Dominican Republic and Cuba. Each nation boasts unique culture, history, heritage and landscapes. There are also a wide range of annual events in the Caribbean including PGA golf tours, rum festivals, food festivals, music festivals, carnivals and major sports events.

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